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MVNOs become firmly established in the Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabias ICT market is the biggest in the Middle East in terms of capital value and volume of spending, accounting for more than 70percent of all ICT markets in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). Growth in ICT spending is expected to increase, driven by strong demand for smartphones and high-speed networks. Underpinning future growth is also a government that regards ICT industry development as a national priority.
Today the fixed-line, internet and mobile markets in Saudi Arabia have all been liberalised. In another move towards liberalisation, three Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) licences were put up for auction in mid-2013. Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia launched MVNO services in September 2014, and Jawraa Lebara (Lebara KSA) did so in the following December. Since launching, the MVNOs have become firmly established with Virgin Mobile Saudi Arabia reaching one million subscribers in October 2015 and Lebara KSA announcing a partnership with Huawei to provide MVNE services to other telecoms operators.
Competition in Saudi Arabias mobile market has increased significantly with both the introduction of MVNOs; along with a reduction in Mobile Termination Rates (MTRS). As a result the pre-existing operators are all feeling the pressure and Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Mobily and Zain all reported profit losses during 2015.
The uptake of mobile broadband is pushing the broadband services market forward and it is also being driven by the increasing number of high tech projects which are strongly supported by the government. The government itself is making great progress in its own transition to digital technologies and there are a number of e-government services now available.
One example of an ambitious project underway in the kingdom is the Smart City named King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), which will house around 2 million people and is expected to be completed by 2035.
Key telecom parameters - 2012; 2015
Subscribers to telecoms services (million): (e)
(Source: BuddeComm based on industry data)
The ICT sector contributes around 3percent to the total GDP of Saudi Arabia and this amount has been rising over the past few years.
The increase in competition from the introduction of MVNOs has had a beneficial effect on prices.
In November 2015 STC announced it was making an offer to purchase the remainder of Viva Kuwaits shares.
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has a number of initiatives underway as it strives to develop Smart Energy solutions for the future.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Saudi Telecom Company (STC)/Bravo, Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)/Bayn Consortium, GO Telecom/Etihad Atheeb, Mobily/Ettihad Etisalat/Bayanat Al-Oula, Zain KSA, Arabsat, ART, Orbit, Rotana, Lebara KSA/Etihad Jawraa, Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (Virgin Mobile MEA), Axiom Telecom, VIVA, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).
Table of Contents
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Recent developments
3.2 Historical overview
3.3 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Historic overview
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.3.1 Data service provider licences
4.3.2 Fixed-line licences
4.4 Interconnect and access
4.5 Number Portability (NP)
4.6 Universal service
5. Fixed network operators in Saudi Arabia
5.1 Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
5.2 Integrated Telecom Company (ITC)
5.3 GO Telecom (Etihad Atheeb)
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 Overview of the national telecom network
6.1.1 Alternative operators infrastructure
6.2 International infrastructure (satellite, submarine)
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
6.2.2 Satellite networks
6.3 Specific IT developments (data centres, cloud computing)
7. Smart infrastructure
7.1 M2M/IoT/Big Data
7.2 Smart grids
7.3 Smart cities
8. Broadband access market
9. Introduction and statistical overview
9.2 Broadband statistics
9.3 Forecasts - mobile broadband subscribers - 2015; 2017; 2020
9.3.1 Scenario 1 - higher growth
9.3.2 Scenario 2 - lower growth
10. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
11. Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
11.3 GO Telecom
12. Other fixed broadband services
12.1 Fixed wireless (WiFi and WiMAX)
13. Digital economy
13.2 e-Banking and m-Banking
14. Digital media
14.2.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
14.3 Social media
15. Mobile communications
15.1 Market analysis
15.2 Mobile statistics
15.2.1 General statistics
15.2.2 Mobile voice
15.2.3 Mobile data
15.3 Mobile broadband statistics
15.4 Regulatory issues
15.4.1 Award of second GSM mobile licence
15.4.2 iDEN contract awarded
15.4.3 Award of Third Generation (3G) licences
15.4.4 Award of third mobile licence
15.4.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
15.5 Mobile infrastructure
15.5.1 Brief intro analogue networks
15.5.2 Digital networks
15.6 IoT and M2M networks
15.7 Major mobile operators
15.8 Mobile content and applications
15.8.2 m-banking (payments/loans)
15.9 Mobile handsets
16. Related reports
Table 1 - Country statistics - United Arab Emirates - 2015
Table 2 - Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2014
Table 3 - Telephone network statistics - 2015
Table 4 - Broadband statistics - 2015
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2015
Table 6 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 - Saudi Arabia - GDP and inflation - 2005 - 2019
Table 8 - Saudi Arabia - mobile, fixed-line and total telecoms revenue - 2001 - 2014
Table 9 - Fixed and mobile market share - 2000 - 2015
Table 10 - STC Group revenue and profit - 2005 - Q3 2015
Table 11 - Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2004
Table 12 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2005 - 2016
Table 13 - International Internet bandwidth - 2010 - 2014
Table 14 - IT market revenue - 2006 - 2015
Table 15 - Fixed internet users and user penetration - 2005 - 2016
Table 16 - Fixed broadband subscriptions - technologies and penetration - 2010 - 2015
Table 17 - Fixed and mobile broadband - total and market share - 2002 - 2015
Table 18 - Saudi Arabia - household PC penetration - 2002 - 2015
Table 19 - Forecast mobile broadband subscriptions - higher growth scenario - 2020; 2025
Table 20 - Forecast mobile broadband subscriptions - lower growth scenario - 2020; 2025
Table 21 - Facebook Stats for Saudi Arabia versus Middle East as at July 2015
Table 22 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2007 - 2015
Table 23 - Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - 2014
Table 24 - Major mobile operators subscribers and market shares - 2005 - 2014
Table 25 - Saudi Arabia - prepaid subscribers - 2002 - 2014
Table 26 - Zain prepaid subscribers - 2008 - 2014
Table 27 - Mobile broadband subscriptions - technologies and penetration - 2010 - 2015
Table 28 - Bravo historic financial data - 2007 - 2012
Table 29 - Bravo historic subscribers and ARPU - 2007 - 2012
Table 30 - Mobily revenue and profit - 2006 - 1H 2015
Table 31 - Zain KSA subscribers and revenue - 2008 - 2014
Chart 1 - Fixed and mobile market share - 2000 - 2015
Chart 2 - Mobile operators market share - 2005 - 2014
Exhibit 1 - Wasel service project
Exhibit 2 - MBC/Al Arabiya
Exhibit 3 - Historical - Bravo
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